Priest, Missionary, and Founder (1673-1716)
+ Born into a poor family in the Brittany region of France, Louis studied in Paris before being ordained a priest in 1700. During his time in seminary he developed a great love for the Blessed Virgin, inspired by the writings of the Fathers of the Church and the saints.
+ Under Mary’s inspiration, he founded a new community of sisters—the Daughters of Wisdom—and a community of brothers, known as the Brothers of St. Gabriel.
+ He worked as a traveling preacher, promoting devotion to Mary, especially through recitation of the rosary. His preaching missions were so successful, Pope Clement XI gave him the title “Missionary Apostolic.”
+ He is the author of two of the greatest French works of Marian devotion: The Secret of the Rosary and True Marian Devotion, in which he promoted the popular “Marian Consecration.”
+ In 1715, he founded a new missionary community of priests, commonly known as the “Montfort Missionaries.”
+ Saint Louis de Montfort died in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sovre, France, on April 28, 1716, and was canonized in 1947.
On this day, the Church also celebrates the missionary and martyr Saint Peter Chanel. A member of the Marist Fathers, he served as a missionary in the Pacific Islands before being killed for his faith on April 28, 1841. Canonized in 1954, he is honored as the patron and proto-martyr of Oceania.
“The Hail Mary is dew falling from heaven to make the soul fruitful. It is a pure kiss of love we give to Mary.”—Saint Louise de Montfort
To learn more about the Montfort Missionaries, visit: www.montfortusa.org
To learn more about the Daughters of Wisdom, visit: www.daughtersofwisdom.org
To learn more about the Brothers of St. Gabriel, visit: http://www.stgabrielinst.org/site/en/home/
O God, who willed to direct the steps of the Priest Saint Louis along the way of salvation and of the love of Christ, in the company of the Blessed Virgin, grant us, by his example, that, meditating on the mysteries of your love, we may strive tirelessly for the building up of your Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.